This is the first book to examine how Fulbright scholars-individuals almost certain to be movers and shakers in their own countries, if they weren't already before coming to America-from Iraq and Afghanistan view the U.S. interventions in their countries, the war on terror, the status of Islam, and other pressing issues of our day. As the author explains, understanding the mindset of Afghans and Iraqis willing to live and study in the occupying power is crucial to the conduct of America's war on terror and America's role in the post-President Bush world. In this work Block looks in-depth at a large representative sample of the Iraqi and Afghani Fulbright scholars in the United States, providing information about their former lives in their home countries, their opposition to dictatorial (Taliban and Saddam's) rule, their accounts of how they wound up coming to America, their opinions about America (both positive and negative), their views of jihadism and of the proper place for Islam in the political processes of their respective countries, and their expectations about what might await them when they return to their own countries. As such, it will be an invaluable resource as the United States continues to rebuild Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jeremy S. Block was Program Officer for the State Department's Fulbright program for Afghanistan at the Institute of International Education.